Monday, May 23, 2016

The Top 100 Songs of 1986*: #100-91

If you're planning a 30-year Class Reunion this summer, Inside The Rock Era is saving you valuable time researching the top songs of 1986.  In the past few days, we have featured songs just outside the list, but today, we begin revealing The Top 100 Songs* of the year. 

Keep in mind that these rankings do not represent the way the songs were ranked back in 1986.  Rather, they utilize up-to-the-minute data regarding the sales and airplay statistics compiled since that time.  In short, they represent the songs that have best stood the test of time.  Several songs which were "all the rage" at the time but have since been forgotten are not on the list, while other songs which organizations told you were not "popular" have proven to be more popular than some of the big hits at the time.  Let's get started:


All The Love In The World

This group places two songs in The Top 100*--the Outfield gets us underway at #100.

Tuff Enuff
Fabulous Thunderbirds

Here's a song by Blues-Rock band the Fabulous Thunderbirds produced by Dave Edmunds.  You'll remember Dave from his big hit "I Hear You Knocking".

It's Only Love (only the live version is available on YouTube
Bryan Adams & Tina Turner

Taken from one of 1985's biggest albums, Reckless, Bryan Adams had already scored hits from the album with "Run To You", "Somebody", "Heaven", "Summer Of '69" and "One Night Love Affair".  All of those reached the Top 15, and when this song hit #15, it made Reckless one of only three albums at the time (Michael Jackson's Thriller and Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. were the others) to contain six Top 15 songs.

Living In America
James Brown

This song represented the first Top 10 hit for James Brown in 18 years.  He had only scored five Top 10's previously, but this not only gave James his sixth, but, with a peak of #4, it was the second-biggest hit of his career after "I Got You (I Feel Good)", which hit #3.

I'm Your Man

By the time this song was released, there were already signs that Wham! was going to split and that George Michael would soon begin a solo career.  Six months after the release of this stand-alone single, the breakup happened.

Harlem Shuffle
Rolling Stones

For their album Dirty Work, the Stones included this remake of an early Rock Era hit by Bob and Earl.  With help from Bobby Womack on backing vocals, "Harlem Shuffle" landed in the Top 10 in 10 countries.

A Love Bizarre
Sheila E. & Prince

Prince met Sheila E. when he caught a concert of hers in 1978.  The two collaborated for the Prince album Purple Rain before Sheila scored a big hit later that year with "The Glamorous Life".  That song earned Sheila Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.

Tender Love
Force M.D.'s

We just heard "A Love Bizarre", featured in the movie Krush Groove.  By coincidence, here is another, written by  producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who were relatively unknown outside of the music industry at the time.  Later that year, however, Jimmy and Terry would be introduced to Janet Jackson, a combination that would lead to nine #1 songs.  The production wizards would go on to write 16 #1 songs and 41 Top 10 hits.


This act formed as a trio in London in 1979, and they registered six Top 10 hits in their native U.K. before getting any attention in the United States.  In 1986, they remade one of the biggest hits of the Rock Era, "Venus" by the Shocking Blue.  Bananarama took it to #1, but you can't trust chart numbers achieved at the time:  in the 30 years since, it has dropped like a rock to the point where it is barely holding on to a spot in the Top 100*.

To Be A Lover
Billy Idol

Ahead of the #1 "Venus" is this song, which became the second Top 10 in the career of Billy Idol.  It made it to #6, but, whereas sales and airplay of "Venus" have slowed to a crawl, this song continues to be relevant.

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